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More Than A Century Of Climate Change

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Although there are still people who are determined to deny it, climate change is a very important global problem, lasting more than a century, to which special attention must be paid. In recent years, many researchers have made the seriousness of the issue known through statistical data, computer simulation models and all sorts of scientific strategies. However, a picture is worth a thousand words. And if they are on the move, so much the better. For this reason, Antti Lipponen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, has been producing animated charts for about a year that clearly show the evolution of temperatures around the world as time goes by. The last of his works was published in his Twitter account, with a huge impact on the Internet.

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It all started after Lipponen began to see on social networks this new way of showing scientific data. “I saw some good infographics and visualizations of climate and atmosphere data on Twitter and decided to learn how to make similar animations,” he explained. “It was easy to access the temperature data obtained by NASA. In addition, the figures give a good idea about global warming, so I decided to use them. Four hours later, I had an animation that initially showed the evolution of temperatures in 190 countries around the world, from 1880 to 2017. Shortly afterwards he would add to the list the United Kingdom and Belgium, which in the first version had remained in the inkwell.

Climate change

Countries are represented inside circles, which change in size and color over time. These changes are due to the difference between the temperature in that year and the average established between 1951 and 1980. In other words, +1 means one degree Celsius above the average temperature in that period and -2 means two degrees less.

In terms of color, as temperatures increase the circles become more intense orange, which gradually turns red, while the lower circles become bluer. At the end of the animation it can be seen that the two countries most affected by the rise in temperatures are Russia and Mongolia, although the vast majority of other nations are on his heels.

Lipponen’s objective was to make the magnitude of the problem known to the population, but also to be able to visualize himself in a simple way the evolution of global temperatures over time. His conclusion was that warming is a problem for everyone and that there are no very significant differences between different countries. However, in areas such as Antarctica warming becomes even more dangerous than in other parts of the world, as the rise in temperatures could lead to the melting of the polar ice caps, with the consequent flooding that this would entail.

03 December 2019

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